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Lymphedema Management/Complete Decongestive Therapy

Lymphedema is a build up of fluid in any part of the body due to stressors such as lymph node removal, injury, radiation treatment, or venous insufficiency (Secondary Lymphedema). People can also be born with lymphatic systems that do not function normally (Primary Lymphedema).

Lymphedema is most often in the arms and legs; however, it can occur anywhere on the body where you have skin and, therefore, lymph vessels. There is no cure for lymphedema; but, it can be effectively controlled with professional treatment and self-management. 

For patients at risk for lymphedema, we provide education on prevention and we monitor their progress to start treatment early, which promotes the best outcomes.

The Lymphedema Program at University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health (UM UCH) includes complete decongestive therapy (CDT) performed by certified lymphedema therapists to help reduce swelling in affected areas. This individualized comprehensive approach includes:

  • Skin and nail care

  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)

  • Gradient bandaging

  • Therapeutic exercises

Education is also essential so that our clients learn how to manage their lymphedema in order to be able to do all the things they need and want to do in daily life. Good lymphedema management is also essential for the prevention of infections.